FACTBOX-Iran’s major oil customers, energy partners

October 9, 2008 - 0:0

The world’s fourth-largest oil exporter Iran is under U.S. and United Nations sanctions for its nuclear activity and the U.N. Security Council last month ordered Iran to comply without delay to demands to stop uranium enrichment.

Iran has increasingly turned to Asia for partners in its energy sector as European firms face political pressure to stay out. U.S. investors have the least to lose from any disruption to Iran’s energy industry as Washington’s sanctions have barred them investing since 1995.
Around 1.6 million bpd of Iranian crude exports go to Asia, the remaining 0.9 million to 1 million bpd to Europe.
The following details Tehran’s principal energy partners and joint projects:
-Biggest single buyer of Iran’s crude. Imported over 400,00 barrels per day (bpd) in the second quarter 2008. Iran was Japan’s fourth-largest supplier. Nippon oil is the largest importer of Iran’s oil, taking 100,000 to 120,000 bpd.
-Japan’s INPEX holdings saw its 75 percent stake in Iran’s huge Azadegan oilfield cut to 10 percent in 2006 when talks fell through on a development plan. 
-Second-largest buyer of Iran’s oil. Imported just under 400,000 bpd in second quarter 2008. Iran is China’s third-largest crude supplier. China’s state-run Zhuhai Zhenrong lifts around 240,000 bpd, while China’s top refiner Sinopec Corp buys around 160,000 bpd. Zhenrong delivers its crude to Sinopec, the only Chinese refiner that processes Iranian oil.
-Sinopec finalised a $2 billion pact to develop Iran’s huge Yadavaran field in December.
-The China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC) is in talks to finalise a $16 billion dealt to develop the North Pars gas field and build a liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant.
-CNPC is in talks with Iran for $3.6 billion deal to buy LNG from Phase 14 of South Pars project. CNPC is also in talks to explore and develop energy reserves in Iran’s Caspian.
-Imports around 360,000 bpd of Iranian crude. The biggest importer is refiner MRPL with around 130,000 bpd. Reliance imports around 120,000 bpd of Iran’s oil and is expected to buy more for its new 580,000 bpd refinery in Jamnagar. India supplies much of Iran’s imported oil gasoline and diesel.
-India’s ONGC, IOC and Oil India Ltd are in talks to invest $3 billion to develop gas reserves at the Farsi block.
-ONGC and the Hinduja group are negotiating for a role in Azadegan oilfield development and to buy gas from South Pars. ONGC is in talks to develop Caspian oil and gas reserves.
-India is negotiating for gas through a proposed pipeline via Pakistan.
-India’s Essar plans to help build a 300,000 bpd refinery in Bandar Abbas worth up to $10 billion.
-SKS signed a multi-billion-dollar development deal in December 2007 to develop Golshan and Ferdows gas fields. Initial investment would be $6 billion. SKS also plans an LNG plant.
-SKS and Iran’s state oil firm NIOC plan to build a 200,000 bpd oil refinery in Malaysia to process Iranian crude.
-National oil firm Petronas has a 10 percent stake in Pars LNG project and is assessing its role after Total halted spending on Iran gas.
-State oil firm Pertamina and Iran plan to build a 300,000 bpd refinery in Indonesia. Indonesia is also involved in construction of 360,000 bpd gas condensate splitter at Bandar Abbas in Iran.
-Negotiating for gas supplies through proposed pipeline to India.
----------South Korea
-Imported up to 232,000 bpd of Iran’s oil in 2007. Hyundai Oilbank and SK Energy both imported around 116,000 bpd.
-Imported 86,000 bpd of Iran’s oil in the second quarter.
-Russia is building Iran’s first nuclear power plant and supplying the fuel it will use.
-Russia state controlled energy giant Gazprom GAXP.MM agreed in February to take on new projects in Iran, including a bigger role in South Pars and drilling for oil. Gazprom has invested about $4 billion in Iran since 2007 and was involved in an earlier phase at South Pars. ------------Europe    Austria’s biggest energy company OMV is leading a consortium planning to build the Nabucco pipeline to carry gas from central Asia to Europe by 2013. Europe wants the pipeline to diversify supplies and ease dependence on Russia but without Iran, it will be difficult to fill the $8 billion pipeline.
OMV signed a preliminary deal last year to develop part of South Pars and build an LNG terminal. The U.S. has criticised the deal. OMV is also developing Iran’s Mehr oilfield with Spain's Repsol and Chile’s Sipetrol.
-French oil giant Total buys around 80,000 bpd of Iran's crude for its refining system.
-Total put new investment in Iran on hold in July due to international political tension. It had a preliminary agreement to develop phase 11 of South Pars and to build an LNG plant to export the gas. Total has previously invested at least $4 billion in Iran.
-Refiners ERG, Eni and API import a combined total of over 80,000 bpd of Iranian crude.
-Eni is leading the $1 billion second phase development of the Darkhovin oil field to take output to 160,000 bpd from 50,000 bpd.Iran has asked Eni to plan a third phase to lift output another 100,000 bpd. ENI has invested at least $5 billion in energy projects in Iran, according to industry estimates.   -Polish gas monopoly PGNiG PGNI.WA signed a preliminary agreement in February with the Iranian Offshore Oil Company to help manage reserves of natural gas and condensates.
Spanish refiners Repsol and Cepsa import a combined total of over 100,000 bpd of Iranian crude.
--------Investment -Repsol had planned to participate with Shell in developing South Pars and building an LNG plant, but Shell pulled out in May.
Swiss utility EGL signed a 25-year gas purchase deal worth over $13 billion with Iran in March. EGL said it could get the first gas through the deal via pipelines next year.
Turkish refiner Tupras imports around 130,000 bpd of Iranian crude. 
-Turkey signed a preliminary deal last year for gas to be exported to Europe through Turkey and for Turkey to produce gas in the South Pars field. The investment would amount to $3.5 billion.
Royal Dutch Shell buys about 100,000 bpd of Iran’s crude for its refining system. BP buys about 25,000 bpd.
-Shell pulled out of a plan to develop a phase at South Pars and build an LNG terminal. Shell has said it may yet get involved in a later phase.
(Source: Reuters)